Saturday, May 23, 2009

TV Review: Glee

The Deets
What: Glee
When: Coming This Fall
Where: Fox
As of this writing you can get the first episode free from Amazon or watch it online at Fox's website or at the Glee entry on IMDB

Who knew I'd start the summer writing TV reviews, especially right in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Bear with me. You're gonna like this one. So let's talk "Glee".

"Glee" is the latest show from Ryan Murphy, the creative force behind the reptilian charms of "Nip/Tuck" and the heart and soul of high school as presented by the kids of "Popular". To say that it's a sitcom about a high school glee club is like saying "Seinfeld" was a show about nothing. That may be how it looks on paper and I could start describing the plot to you and you could probably finish every sentence. Hey! Let's try that!

Me: So there's this jock and the teacher sponsoring the glee club finds out he has a great voice and gets him to join the club -

You: ...and his team mates find out and give him an ultimatum where he has to choose between football and singing. Oh, and he rescues one of the geekier people from the jocks and makes a speech about being true to himself or something like that and...

Oh yeah, the plot could be telegraphed from my front porch to Chattanooga without any technological assistance. But here's the thing, Murphy and the writers and the cast sell this so well that you can't help but fall in love with it, bless it's cliched heart. There is an equal amount of tongue-in-cheek humor mixed with the kind of overly earnest face-palm worthy moments that go with being in or working at a high school. This works because while everyone is in on the joke (for the the most part, and I'll talk about that in a minute) they are aware that the moments, the desires, the whole awkward, goofy gestalt is what it is and you either love it or you don't.

If I have one quibble, it's that the "all athletes are stupid and mean" trope is getting old. (Getting? How about past gone?) I sincerely hope we see some of that tempered with more than one guy seeing the light.

The bottom line? I love it and think you will, too. Go to the Fox link in the deets and see what I (and your teen daughters and recovering drama/music geek friends) will be talking about this fall.

If you're too pressed for time to watch the whole preview, here's another taste of the show. Call me an easily manipulated simp, but this gave me goosebumps:

copyright 2009 jas faulkner

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